Did you know that tourism agencies like VISIT Florida and VISIT Orlando get millions of taxpayer dollars to promote theme parks that already have profits in the billions?
You may or may not, but if you think that sounds unfair, you’d be right.
Especially, as the theme parks in Orlando continue to treat their workers poorly with low wages in a community with an affordable housing crisis.
Still, it’s agencies like VISIT Florida and VISIT Orlando that pay their manager’s high salaries to spend your money to promote tourism in what is already the family tourism capital of the world.
But let’s take a second to stop dunking on these guys to point out that they should have a new mission.
To let the world know that Florida is safe despite the first cases of the Corona virus showing up.
Corona, while no reason to panic immediately, still isn’t a joke. There are regions of the world being hit very hard by it, but the world must keep turning and there has to be voices that keep reality leveled for everyone.
Enter these tourism agencies.
They’ll actually have to put an effort together to counter any fear or sensationalism that may cause harm to Florida’s biggest industry.
Goodness. That actually sounds like work. I hope they’re up for it.
If it sounds like I’m coming down hard on these guys, it’s because their proven return of investment on your money is at best shady, at worst waste.
Then there is transparency, where these groups have acted questionably.
Look no further than the secretive deal they cut with rapper Pitbull that required intervention from our lawmakers before we finally discovered what the agreement involved. (story HERE).
If you go local, then you have VISIT Orlando providing data to Orange County so they can raise your sales tax. You are literally funding the data to make your taxes higher (story HERE).
It’s time for them to earn their keep.
Of course, this is all unlikely to happen. The Governor will take point as well as health officials. They’re expected to lead and they will.
But goodness, it would be great to see these overpaid agencies step up and finally make a noticeable effort on the defensive side of tourism that the parks won’t be able to do for themselves.
I won’t hold my breath.